Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stitching Saturday: monkey time

monkey time

Yes, I know I've been loath to share my monkey with you, although I finished him the weekend before last - why - you ask? I just haven't gotten any really good shots of him - you know, that capture his truly charming monkey essence. Yeah, I'm a bit strange, but he is one charming monkey.

Maybe it's the glazed look in his little monkey eyes...
monkey eyes
And, having (unrepentantly) seen Puss in Boots this weekend, I know one must never underestimate the power of fully dilated pupils. :)

Or maybe it's just the silly floppiness of his skinny limbs, which have seemingly limitless potential for hilarity:
a demonstration of potential for hilarity

Whatever it is, I'm hooked on the monkey.
more monkey

Everyone I've met is likewise charmed by the monkey- my friend's little boy played with him very politely for hours, and gave him lots of hugs - my niece was much less gentle but his little limbs took the flinging about in great stride. I have also noted, that if I leave him in a certain pose on the couch, he will be in a different one altogether when I arrive home. Providing quite conclusive proof that my mom is playing with him.

A few construction notes - 5 colors of stripes was a pain and time-consuming, but worth it in the end. His mouth is a little crooked, but it just adds to the charm. The pattern calls for a tail, too, but I thought he had enough skinny appendages, and I bet he'll sit better without one.

Linda filled me in on the mystery yarn I used - so here's a quick recap of the yarns on this project:
monkey colors
Top: Louet Gems - Terra Cotta
Bottom - left to right: Bamboo Ewe - Eucalyptus, Wool of the Andes- Cloud and Mink Heather, Bamboo Ewe - Beach Glass

I used size 6 Addi needles and safety eyes from Hobby Lobby. The pattern is called Jerry the Musical Monkey, designed by Rebecca Danger.

So what do you think of the monkey? Yeah, you know I'm gonna make more. Maybe I've even started another one? :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stitching Saturday: a monkey and a movie

further monkey progress

Here was my progress as of yesterday morning - I was finishing up a skinny arm:

Then I spent all of yesterday (almost) stitching and here are the fruits of my labor - an almost finished monkey (he is unstuffed and has no tail, but you get the idea):
current monkey

While I stitched, I spent a quiet morning watching Late Spring. I saw my first Ozu film a couple of years ago after I lost my father - I'm always careful when I watch them, because as detached as they always begin, they pack an emotional punch that totally catches me off guard.

Like Antonioni, he has these dreamy black and white shots and he's a master of composition:
Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 8.09.03 PM

His choice of cast is nearly identical in each of his films - and Setsuko Hara has to be one of my favorites:
Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.51.03 PM
There's something so luminous and joyful and charming in her smiling face.

One of my favorite sequences comes near the end, when her father is trying to convince her to marry - she's afraid to leave him on his own - but you begin to see it's not just that - she's so happy in her current life that she can't imagine a life unlike it...

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.52.19 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.54.26 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.55.41 PM

There's something so incredibly moving about this scene, as her father tries to convince her that she needs to move on - her time with him is over.

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.56.20 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.57.49 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.58.31 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 8.01.00 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 8.01.14 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 8.02.48 PM

It's really a stunning, quiet, wonderful film.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stitching Saturday: this monkey rocks

If you've been hanging around my stream for any length of time, you know I love monkeys. If I know you, I might have even shown you my monkeys. But I thought I'd hit a monkey wall - I hadn't been inspired to sew any more for a loooong time.

This monkey brought me back around:
side view

Yeah, I know, he isn't so exciting yet - but can you maybe envision the monkey he will become? I've just finished up one long, skinny arm and the hand is ready to stuff:
monkey progress

He looks a bit deflated without any stuffing in his mouth, but we'll fix that soon enough.

Aren't my needles so shiny and nice?
I <3 my needles

A few notes about the knitting process so far - these directions ask you to do Magic Loop for every step - while in the monster book, small appendages like the arms and legs asked for double-pointed needles. Um, can I just say that using Magic Loop instead of dpns is about 1000% easier?! (I feel like a fancy pants since I used the hip abbreviation "dpns", by the way) :)

It just feels a bit funny using needles with such a long cord (I bought mine with a 40 in cord, because I was imagining knitting large stuffed animals - and they were really handy for Higgins / Biscuit. But on a teeny-tiny skinny arm, I had that long cord flapping around every time I turned it and 9 times out of ten it was bouncing off my face (I'm sure the bus riders were amused).

The other thing that is tricky is having 5 different yarns going at the same time. Before every new color I'd have to spend a few minutes distentangling it from the other colors - it adds quite a bit of time to the process. But I think in the end, it will be worth it, because I'm a stripes girl, and I think he looks adorable with his stripe pattern.

I've been faving lots of awesome monkeys on Ravelry, here's just a few:

Hope you're all having a great weekend! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stitching Saturday: monkey colors


I was over on Ravelry and one look at this little guy and my weekend was spoken for:

I don't know what I love more - the monkey pattern, the pose, the awesome photo, or the bright, perfect colors she chose. All of it. I love all of it.

One thing I love about all this crafting I've been doing is how much it makes me think of and notice color. I would have never looked at these 5 colors and put them together, but they look perfect:

Naturally, I was itching to start right away (as usual) so I used the colors I had on hand, and not bad ones, at that. But I'm starting to recognize a very consistent batch of colors I gravitate towards online and in real life:

All except for that rusty, terracotta color - I threw that in for contrast, but it's not in my normal color scheme.

Here are the yarn counterparts:
monkey colors
If you're curious - from left to right they are Bamboo Ewe - Eucalyptus, Wool of the Andes- Cloud and Mink Heather, Bamboo Ewe - Beach Glass. And that rusty terracotta color on top - Linda, help me out (i.e. this was one of many generous gifts from you!) do you recognize it? :)